The Americans

Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell in The Americans

The world has changed quite a bit since the early 1980s, and we’re now to the point that a television show set in that era qualifies as a period piece. Some of us are getting old . . .

“The Americans” ran for five seasons from 2013 to 2018. It followed a couple posing as an average American couple at the height of the Cold War. The two are¬†agents who have been trained by the Soviets for years to live in America as spies. They have two unsuspecting, American-born children, have a house in a suburbs, own a travel agency and live like a typical American husband and wife. But they’re both badasses, and they’ll pretty much do anything for their country. Both will use sex whenever needed to get information or build a necessary relationship, and they rely on a variety of disguises when working.

The set up is fascinating. Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings and Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings play the husband and wife team. But right from the beginning we see tension between them. They’re both very good at their job, and they compliment each other very well. But Philip is starting to appreciate the comforts of American life, while Elizabeth is still very much a true believer in the cause. Meanwhile, an FBI agent has moved in across the street. They naturally become friends, but the agent is assigned to the unit investigated what they called “The Illegals.”

If you haven’t see “The Americans” then you should stop here if you don’t want to see any spoilers. Binge watch the first season (which is the best) and you’ll be hooked!

As mentioned above, Season 1 is the best season in our opinion. While the entire series is excellent, it’s hard to match the brilliance of that first season. The entire series revolves around the marriage between Philip and Elizabeth, but the storylines get more complicated as their children grow older and Page, the eldest, starts to become suspicious. But in that first season we’re just getting introduced to this amazing world of spies and the tension between Philip and Elizabeth, along with the endless stream of pressure situations they’re forced to face.